January Deadline for AIP, APS Congressional Science Fellowships A reminder to readers who want to get actively involved in science policy: the deadline for applying to the AIP and APS Congressional Science Fellowship programs is approaching! ALL APPLICATION MATERIALS FOR BOTH THE AIP AND APS FELLOWSHIPS MUST BE POSTMARKED BY JANUARY 15, 2001.
These programs enable scientists with a PhD in physics or a closely related field - or outstanding non-PhD candidates with compensating research experience - to spend a year working for a congressional office or committee, learning how congressional decisions impact the science community and how a scientist can provide advice and expertise to Congress. One individual CAN make a difference!
Why should you take a personal interest in the legislative and policy-making process? The federal government funds about 30 percent of the nation's R&D, and almost 60 percent of basic research. Decisions made by Congress affect which research areas and programs are emphasized and which are not. In recent years, bills have been introduced in Congress relating to biomedical imaging, improved science education, public access to research results, a research and experimentation tax credit, and noise control research: all areas of concern to AIP Member Societies. Because Members of Congress rarely have technical backgrounds, AIP and APS seek to provide a public service to Congress by making available scientists who can provide analysis and guidance on the scientific or technical aspects of policy issues. Although the societies provide a stipend and other benefits, Fellows do not act as representatives of AIP or APS during their time on Capitol Hill; their only responsibility is to the congressional office in which they choose to work.
Many former Fellows have gone on to help craft Administration science policy by serving in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, or in federal S&T agencies. Others return to academia or industry, while some accept permanent staff positions on Capitol Hill. The APS 1982-3 Congressional Science Fellow, Rush Holt (D-NJ), just won reelection to a second term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Both AIP and APS have sponsored Congressional Science Fellows for more than 10 years, under the auspices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Two other AIP Member Societies, the American Geophysical Union and the Optical Society of America, also sponsor Fellows annually. Please see the web sites of the individual societies listed below for details and deadlines of each specific program.
For the AIP and APS Fellowships: In addition to U.S. citizenship, applicants must be members of APS for the APS Fellowship, and members of one or more of the 10 AIP Member Societies for the AIP Fellowship. For APS members, one application suffices for both programs.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on each of the specific Fellowship programs, including how, when and where to apply, please see the following web sites:
Audrey T. Leath